Monday, November 5, 2018

Another Round At The Crow Bar: #23 November 2018


Hello friends and fans!
Welcome to my 23rd newsletter: November 2018! Coming up in this edition of Another Round @ The Crow Bar: Regular updates, new releases, and a monthly spotlight on one of my books, this time "Demonspawn".


In Brief:
The new Shop page is now fully functional, providing free and paid eBooks for download in PDF format, accepting payment via PayPal and PayFast internationally, using Visa, Mastercard and even Bitcoin! (Who  actually uses Bitcoin anyway?)

If you've had a look at the new site, you might also notice I've set the prices for these same eBooks (which you can buy as epub files from places like Amazon and others) considerably lower than wherever else they are available, averaging around $2. The reason for this is, overhead costs.

As I explained last time, other service providers that distribute and sell my books take a cut from the proceeds - and more often than not, this is an unkind, even cruel cut! While the standard price is set at the source platform - let's say $4.99 for a book on Lulu, Lulu will take around $1 and the rest goes to the creator as royalty fees.

Amazon for example is the biggest distribution and sales network on the planet - but they are also the most capricious. Amazon will sell the same book for the same $4.99, but will take much more for "service fees", including passing on the costs for the download data by the buyer to the creator, so that in the end Amazon takes the lion's share of the purchase, leaving the poor author with only about $1 of that sale. This is the obvious reason why I've been referring all my sales traffic to Lulu instead of Amazon, where I get the most out of my sales. The trouble is, most people don't know Lulu, or recognize the name as well as they do "Amazon", and I've even had a few people say so as if my directing them there is some kind of "trick". It's no trick folks - seeing as I have to do my own marketing anyway, it just makes little sense to me to push a channel that rewards me the least rather than a channel that rewards me the most!

It's a sad fact that most authors write for the pleasure of it, but we publish for the fame and mostly, for what financial rewards we can get from it. What's sad about it, is that the industry tends to be very much a rigged game run by billionaire fat-cats, and indie authors like myself tend to get lost in the red-tape and cogs and gears of the machine.

By all means, buy your favorite author's books from Amazon if you like, but believe me, in order for that author to make any worthwhile money off their sales on Amazon, their sales would have to be in the hundreds of thousands of units! I'm still a long way off from that, so if you can imagine how frustrating it is when I hear some writers bragging about sales figures in the thousands per month while I am still battling to get above five paid sales and between 30 and 60 free downloads per month! If you really want to support me as a reader, you can buy direct from my website instead, where the whole proceed of each sale comes to me. If you'd prefer to buy the book in epub format, you can still get it from Lulu for a little more.

Unfortunately, in order to use PayFast (a South African PayPal equivalent or better) I've had to display the currencies on the website in worthless South African "ronts" - but rest assured, the costs still work out roughly equivalent to the USD amounts quoted  on each product page.

It's been a pretty rough adjustment period, making sure all the shop links and cart pages and check-outs work, but that is now done, and while sales are still frustratingly slow, trickling in via Lulu (with little or no help from greedy Amazon), I'm hoping that the new shop site will take things further!

All this talk about the new website and current sales aside, on with the show!

New Releases

At the moment, I've been busy with the marketing side of the business, and I haven't done much in the writing pool! These are my most recent new releases:

In August, I was very proud to present my very first short animated film: “Bang! Splat!": A children’s story …for adults! “Bang! Splat!” is based on “Innocent Minds“, and features some of the characters from my Quantum Series of novels – namely, Dr. Gleichstein and his little dog Vluffy. Dr. Gleichstein is a quantum physicist – and as everyone knows by now, quantum physics is a little like ordinary physics, except that you spend a little more time looking for your eyebrows.

“Deanna is a quaint planet, home to odd-ball quantum physicist Dr. Gleichstein and his little dog Vluffy… and a few uninvited guests.

The Herr Doktor and Vluffy are faced with quite a conundrum – even bigger than the Doktor regularly losing his eyebrows. Their home is overrun by mutant two-headed cockroaches – and not even a hammer will stop them! However will they solve this problem?”

Read more here.
Watch: YouTube (it's free!)
Free download: eBook (Lulu)

On 14 August I announced the release of "Christina Engela’s Book of Candid Quotes", a free downloadable ebook containing a large number of quotes. Many of these come from my activism days when I wrote and shared articles almost daily to address various social injustices on local and international stages. I think they’re pretty good, so I decided to share them with the world. I hope you enjoy them, find something thought provoking, and share it as well.

Currently Available Titles:

The Galaxii Series

"Blachart" by Christina Engela "Demonspawn" by Christina Engela "Dead Beckoning" by Christina Engela "Lange's Legacy" by Christina Engela "The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1" by Christina Engela

The Quantum Series

Front Front Innocent Minds - Front.jpg  Front Front Quantum Omnibus Front prodigal-sun-front high-steaks-front

Panic! Horror In Space

 Panic! Horror In Space #2 Front 

Other:

Front OKAKJLY Lulu - Front.jpg 

Non-Fiction

slide1 Front Spread Cover   

On A Personal Note

  • Fan Mail & Honorable Mentions
  1. "Demonspawn" got a wonderful review on the 3rd of October by Lee Hall, a UK-based book reviewer!
  2. "Demonspawn" got a second amazing review on the 6th of October from Aimee-Ann of the book reviewing website "Redheadedbooklover.com".
I display my Fan Mail & Compliments with pride, gratitude and humility. You are always welcome to have a look.
  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions
I’m rather proud of my hate mail, and you can review it here – but be forewarned, don’t do it while eating or drinking or you might choke while laughing at it!
  • Interviews
If you would like to do an interview with me about my works, please do get in touch!

CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS on Academia.eduAmazon, AnobiiApple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Bol, Book Depository, Dilmot eBookMall, FictionDB, Fnac, Foyles, Goodreads!Indigo, Kobo , Lulu, Lybrary, MoboReaderNook, Smashwords, Takealot, 24 Symbols – or wherever you see Christina’s books – or just send her an email via the Contact form!

Support The Author
Although most titles listed are available in paperback and/or ebook formats through most online retailers internationally, Christina prefers readers make their purchases via her website, or via Lulu. This is because while all retailers charge the same price to YOU the reader, Lulu gives the author the largest portion of the proceeds from your purchase (her website gives it ALL) - which is really, really important if you're the author! :)

Monthly Book Spotlight [Spoiler Alert]: "Demonspawn"

I'm so pleased with the reviews I've received for this book that instead of just sharing the page about the book here, this time I'm putting both reviews here in their complete text for you! :)

by Lee Hall
‘In space, not all things were certain… not even death’
Demonspawn is a detailed well-imagined space story, which I found hard to put down, in fact I read the book in just 3 sittings.

Christina Engela has created a believable world of space travel, delivering it in way that seemed to me logical and explained without straying from the main plot.

From the very opening, there is a deliberate psychological vagueness as to what the ‘big bad’ could be. This heightens the mystery giving readers a real urgency and a want to find out, eventually you will.

With that tension steadily building the story follows the somewhat damned crew of the I.S.S. Mordrake; a ship seemingly stranded and damaged beyond repair in the furthest reaches of space. Their captain is found murdered and so it’s up to main character Joe Lofflin to investigate along with a cast full of convincing characters.

Then they discover a derelict ship just floating in space.

This story reminded me of films such as Alien and Event Horizon but Demonspawn could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There were many concepts of the sci-fi genre in this book that were original and put together in a way not seen before anywhere else (this was especially so for the ‘Akx’.)
It’s an enjoyable read that will leave you wanting more. 5 Stars." - by Lee Hall, UK-based writer, playwright and reviewer.

by Aimee Ann, October 6, 2018

"Demonspawn by Christina Engela is incontrovertibly a must-read science fiction horror novel and a novel that should not be missed! Demonspawn is the spine-tingling second installment of Christina Engela’s Galaxii series that takes us, adventurous readers, to the depths of space on a journey riddled with dangers around every turn. Demonspawn by Christina Engela will chill you to your core, it will seep into you deeper than the vast cold of space and it made for a thrilling read! I love how the tension and suspense build to a horrifying crescendo that had my heart pounding through my chest in terror, shock, and excitement!

A quarrel with a Corsair marauder leaves the I.S.S Mordrake in dire need of repairs deep in space. Hope is fleeting while running on back up generators that will eventually give out this far from any normal shipping routes. The inevitable looms above each crew member, certain death.

The Captain, drunk and denying all responsibility for their desperate circumstances, has a fatal encounter with a killer. The crew begins to investigate the Captains murder when they stumble upon an abandoned alien ship floating in an asteroid belt. Hope is restored at the discovery of potential salvation, but once aboard hope turns to dread as they find the entire former crew massacred.

Their only option is to tear apart the alien vessel for parts to fix their own ship. Salvation turns to horror as more crew members die, the killer is still amongst them and an evil is haunting the abandoned ship. Can they beat the clock and repair their ship, or will they all succumb to the same fate as the crew before them?

Demonspawn by Christina Engela is a sensationally terrifying space adventure that gripped me immediately! Demonspawn by Christina Engela flawlessly weaves an everlasting sense of urgency; if they fail to find the parts they need the entire crew is as good as dead, if they don’t abandon the wrecked ship quickly they will fall prey to the beast that claimed the former crew. Through all of this, there is still a killer loose on their own ship. I love the constant underlying ambiance of dread, it kept me on edge, anxiously turning the pages to unravel the murderous mystery!

Christina Engela is an unparalleled science fiction author; she creates a dark haunting world that I couldn’t get enough of! Christina Engela has an intriguing writing style that engages us, fervid readers, through her well-timed plot development, memorable and unique characters I could identify with, and chilling details that keep the pages turning of their own accord! I love the way Christina Engela draws us in and sends us spiraling on a whirlwind ride from start to finish, which shows what an outstanding and truly talented author she is!

Demonspawn by Christina Engela is a hair-raising science fiction horror novel that will shock and thrill any reader! Christina Engela perfectly balances the crippling dangers of deep space, with a high stakes race against time, and a mysterious string of murders leading to an ungodly creature bent on their destruction. The dangers are very real in Demonspawn, brought to life by Christina Engela’s frightening air-tight narrative, coupled with an all-consuming sense of danger, and superb characterization! I was engrossed in Demonspawn from the first page, enamored by the intricate and intelligent design building the tension to a startlingly unforgettable climax that left me breathless! Demonspawn by Christina Engela is a remarkable nail-biting piece of science fiction literature I have to award five stars!" - Aimee Ann, Redheadedbooklover.com

Buy it now for only R30 (or about $2)!

In Closing

Well, that's all for this time, folks! :)

Thanks again for all your support, friendship and interaction! Until next time, keep reading!

Cheers! :)

If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website. If you want to know what Christina Engela’s focus group or target market is, please read here. If you would like to read more about Christina’s life and experiences, please go to her Biography and “Milestones & Achievements“. To leave her a message, please use the Contact form. Visit her Shop. ‘Add’ Christina Engela on Facebook (Profile). ‘Like’ Christina Engela on Facebook (Page). All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2018.


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